Cambodia November-December 2016 (20 photos)
Beng Mealea is one of the largest temples of the Angkor period, built around the mid 12th century. It has mixed Buddhism and Hinduism origins.
It reopened to tourism in the early 2000s after the landmines were finally cleared from the temple grounds. After all, just as with bullet-ridden Phnom Bakheng in my post Lignum Draco and the Temples of Doom (3) this was another real life temple of doom which the Khmer Rouge army used as a base.
The central sanctuary area is completely in ruins and wooden causeways have been built to enable access.
The rest of the temple isn’t in much better condition.
Ta Nei is commonly known as the lost temple. Due to its isolation in a forested area of Angkor it receives very few visitors. Apart from my guide, no one else was there during my visit. It is only a small Buddhist temple, built in the late 12th – early 13th century.
East of Siem Reap is the Roluos group of temples, of which the temple of Bakong is the most significant. It is a Hindu temple built in the late 9th century. It is considered to be the first major mountain-temple built in Angkor.
Another of the Roluos group of temples, this is a smaller temple also built in the late 9th century. Again, Hindu in origin.
Koh Ker is a former capital of the Khmer kingdom and a remote archaeological site in northern Cambodia about 120 kilometres (75 miles) away from Siem Reap. It is a jungle region that is sparsely populated. More than 180 temples were found in a protected area of 81 square kilometres (31 sq mi). However only a few can be visited by tourists because most of the sanctuaries are hidden in the forest and the whole area is not fully de-mined.
The most impressive temple of the Koh Ker region is at Prasat Thom. A Hindu structure built around the 10th century, the pyramidal structure known as Prang is 36 metres high.
Ascending to the peak of Prang is definitely worth the effort despite the heat and humidity of the typical Cambodian day. Atop the peak, one is rewarded with magnificent views of Cambodia, which is predominantly a flat country.
My guide and I were the only ones up there for quite a while; enjoying the views but also simply too tired to walk back down.
I took lots of selfies, and had several photos of me taken by my guide. To protect the innocent, none of those will ever be seen here. Sorry. 🙂